Horses Return to Training at Gulfstream Park


Photo: Coglianese Photo/Lauren King
Palm Meadows weathered Hurricane Irma despite the mark left on South Florida by the storm

Just two days after Hurricane Irma left her mark on South Florida, Gulfstream Park, The Village at Gulfstream Park, Palm Meadows, and Gulfstream Park West began returning to normalcy.

Horses trained at Gulfstream, Palm Meadows, and Gulfstream Park West shortly after 6:00 a.m. ET Sept. 12.

"I stood out here at 7 a.m. and, honestly, if you hadn't known there was a hurricane two days earlier you never would have known what had gone on," said trainer Chuck Simon, stabled at Palm Meadows. "We trained everyone. The track was perfect. Everyone showed up, the track was in great shape. ... Like a normal day."

Trainer Peter Walder, stabled at Gulfstream, added: "We jogged everyone. The track was fine. Believe it or not, the barn was perfect. We took everything out before the storm, but you never would have known there was a storm. I have nothing but good things to say about how everything was handled."

Some 700 horses were moved from Gulfstream in the three days leading up to the storm, many to Palm Meadows. Approximately 75 returned Tuesday, with the rest expected Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Gulfstream will draw races Wednesday for live programs Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

Meanwhile, Gulfstream was preparing its facility for simulcast wagering to begin Wednesday with Silks opening at 11 a.m. Most of the restaurants and shops at The Village at Gulfstream Park were expected to open Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Christine Lee's was scheduled to open Wednesday evening.

Gulfstream's poker room and casino opened Tuesday and will operate from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m.